Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Death of a glacier

video



Yosemite's Lyell Glacier, second-largest in the Sierras, has lost 80% of its surface area, down to .27 square km. Wiki says it's split in two and not moving, arguably not a glacier anymore, just stagnant ice.

I tried to get up to this one a year back but it didn't work out. Still on my list.

Glaciers can come back though. About 20 rash years ago, I was glissading down what was supposed to be a snowfield and not a glacier in Alaska when I found myself sliding toward a crevasse. I couldn't stop but I got my feet underneath me and jumped it (it wasn't very wide). That's when I learned that small glaciers can come and go, although the global trend for glaciers is obvious enough.

3 comments:

cRR Kampen said...

Dead ice. Like e.g. the Zugspitze glacier.

"I couldn't stop but I got my feet underneath me and jumped it (it wasn't very wide)."
Damn do I know that kind of movement..
On a somewhat related note: you can follow reindeer tracks safely. But not a lynx's.

Aaron said...

There was a small glacier in the Sierras where a friend and I practiced ice skills every year for 20 years. Then, about 12 years ago, I was crossing it, and the whole thing just slide away and over the cliff below -- leaving me hanging 15 feet in the air from my belay to the rock above. That was the point when I was sure that discontinuous ice dynamics was important to ice sheet behavior.

Brian said...

A wolf was a good guide the one time I unintentionally followed one. I thought I was following the melted out steps of a climber, until the prints got smaller as I went uphill.